Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday attacked the ruling BJP saying it insulted Lord Ram by claiming that it “brought” Ram to the temple in Ayodhya, whereas the Hindu god always lived in the people’s heart.
“When Lord Ram resides in the heart, then what is the need to take the name? Ram was there earlier too,” Yadav said during the budget session in the Legislative Assembly.
“Lord Ram is there even today. Lord Ram will always be there. When we were not there, Lord Ram was, and when we would no longer be there, Lord Ram would still be there. Therefore, by saying that you have brought Lord Ram, you are not only insulting Lord Ram, but also religion,” he said and asked the BJP to stop doing politics in the name of religion.
Apparently responding to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s pitch for a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna in Mathura – his putative birthplace — Yadav said he sees no difference between Ram and Krishna.
“We are among the descendants of Lord Krishna. I believe in all the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. I see Krishna in Ram and I see Ram in Krishna too … We are from the Pandavs’ side,” he said.
Yadav also cited the Governor’s address to say Rs 31,000 crore was spent on beautification of Ayodhya ahead of Ram Temple consecration.
The former UP chief minister criticised the “big budget” presented by the treasury bench, saying it means nothing if the government chooses to spend it covertly.
“The government does not provide information about how much has been spent of the amount allocated.” He said, “Whether the UP budget is of 7 lakh crore or 8 lakh crore, the biggest question will always be ‘what is in it for the 90 per cent of the people of the state?’”
“The policy of the BJP is not for the common public of the state. It keeps 90 per cent of the budget for the 10 per cent rich people. And only 10 per cent of the budget for the 90 per cent of the needy people.”
The SP chief in his speech mentioned several issues afflicting the state, such as inflation, law and order, unemployment, and farmer distress, and asked the government if there is enough in the budget to address these issues and also asked it to reveal the allocation towards them.
“Will the farmer get the right price for his crop? Whether the income of the farmers will be doubled? Will the labourer get the right price for his hard work?” Yadav asked, and used a Hindi proverb to say big is not always better – ‘Bada hua to kya hua jaise ped khajoor, panchi ko chhaaya nahi, phal lage ati door.’
“India is the fifth (largest) economy in the world, but 80 crore people of the country are dependent on government ration. There is no exemption in rail fare for senior citizens. For the youth, there is only four-year Agniveer recruitment in the Army,” Yadav said.
Yadav also sought to know the road map for the Adityanath administration’s much vaunted USD 1 trillion economy for UP.
“What is the GDP of your state? If you want to have a 1 trillion dollar economy in Uttar Pradesh, then what will be the growth rate for it?” he asked.
Yadav hit out at the CM over his earlier remark that the state had lost its identity under the SP rule.
“The government is saying that earlier there was an identity crisis in Uttar Pradesh, I don’t know why it is said so. Uttar Pradesh, which has given the maximum number of prime ministers to the country, every standard of the country is directly related to Uttar Pradesh,” he said.
If UP lags behind, the whole country lags behind, he said, and added, “if there was an identity crisis in Uttar Pradesh from 2012 to 2017, then why did the biggest investment come to Uttar Pradesh?”
“If anyone is creating an identity crisis for Uttar Pradesh, it is your government. You had said that you will build an expressway to connect Jhansi to Delhi, why have you not been able to build it till now? Why couldn’t the metro be built?” he asked.
Yadav also asked the state administration why it was seeking private investment in education, if it has such huge money to spend in its coffers.
“If you hand over polytechnic, ITI, medical colleges to private hands, then where will the poor study, where will the poor get treatment?” he said.
Yadav alleged that 90 per cent of the youths are sitting at home jobless today, and also decried the state of law and order in the state. “The policy of zero tolerance has become zero in the state.”
On the proposed visit of UP MLAs to Ram temple in Ayodhya on Sunday, he said, “We will go with our families, and whenever Ram calls us, we will go. We will not go at your invitation.”
Uttar Pradesh Speaker Satish Mahana had on Tuesday extended the government’s invitation to all the members to visit the Ram Temple during the assembly session.
The Uttar Pradesh government had on Monday presented a Rs 7.36 lakh crore budget for 2024-25 invoking Lord Ram and claiming to prioritise infrastructure development as well as the welfare of women, youth, and farmers.
UP’s Finance Minister Suresh Khanna started his budget speech with a verse from Hindu epic Ramcharitmanas and said that the state government is inspired by the concept of ‘Ram Rajya.’
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)